Ronin Seeking Revenge
CG Medium Humanoid (human)
Init +7; Senses Perception +11
AC 23, touch 15, flat-footed 18 (+8 armor, +5 Dex)
hp 154 (11d10+33)
Fort +10, Ref +8, Will +3 (+3 vs. fear)
Defensive Abilities bravery +3
Speed 30 ft.
Melee +1 Wakizashi +20/+15/+10 (1d6+10/15-20/x2) and
+2 Katana +23/+18/+13 (1d8+14/15-20/x2) and
Butterfly knife +20/+15/+10 (1d4+9/19-20/x2) and
Butterfly knife +20/+15/+10 (1d4+9/19-20/x2) and
Dagger +20/+15/+10 (1d4+9/19-20/x2) and
Dagger +20/+15/+10 (1d4+9/19-20/x2) and
Dagger +20/+15/+10 (1d4+9/19-20/x2) and
Dagger +20/+15/+10 (1d4+9/19-20/x2)
Special Attacks weapon training abilities (heavy blades +2, light blades +1)
Str 26, Dex 20, Con 16, Int 12, Wis 10, Cha 8
Base Atk +11; CMB +19; CMD 34
Feats Double Slice, Exotic Weapon Proficiency (Katana), Exotic Weapon Proficiency (Wakizashi), Greater Two-weapon Fighting, Greater Weapon Focus (Katana), Improved Critical (Katana), Improved Critical (Wakizashi), Improved Two-weapon Fighting, Quick Draw, Two-weapon Fighting, Weapon Focus (Katana), Weapon Focus (Wakizashi), Weapon Specialization (Katana)
Traits Reactionary, World Traveler (Sense Motive)
Skills Climb +18, Craft (weapons) +9, Perception +11, Perform (wind instruments) +4, Profession (soldier) +5, Sense Motive +15, Sleight of Hand +10, Stealth +7
Languages Common, Elven
Other Gear +3 Mithral Kikko armor, +1 Wakizashi, +2 Katana, Butterfly knife, Butterfly knife, Dagger, Dagger, Dagger, Dagger, Belt of physical might (Str & Dex +6), Artisan's toolsCraft (weapons), Backpack, masterwork (4 @ 18 lbs), Behind The Back, Climber's kit, Left Boot, Musical instrument, masterwork (Flute), Right Boot, Silk rope, Wrist sheath, spring loaded (1 @ 1 lbs), Wrist sheath, spring loaded (1 @ 1 lbs), 131 GP
Bravery +3 (Ex) +3 Will save vs. Fear
Quick Draw Draw a weapon as a free action. Throw at full rate of attacks.
Weapon Training (Blades, Heavy) +2 (Ex) +2 Attack, Damage, CMB, CMD with Heavy Blades
Weapon Training (Blades, Light) +1 (Ex) +1 Attack, Damage, CMB, CMD with Light Blades
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Hattori Tetsukai was born in the city of Gaden in Sollie. He was 2 years old when his parents were killed in a fire. They were shopkeepers and were left unconscious by thieves that started a fire to cover their escape. As a result Tetsukai never knew his parents.
At the age of 5, Tetsukai was apprenticed to Master Hattori Hanzo, a sword maker in Gaden. Tetsukai was a quick study, and while Hanzo was strict, he was fair and kind. He had never married, so he never had children. Over time he came to see Tetsukai as his son. By the age of 15, Tetsukai’s skill at forging swords was only exceeded by his skill at using them. Because of his reputation, Hanzo had been able to get some of the finest teachers available to teach Tetsukai. On his 15th birthday, Hanzo and Tetsukai formalized their bond as father and son when Tetsukai took Hanzo’s family name.
A Twist of Fate
Tetsukai was on his way to becoming a master sword maker when fate conspired to change his destiny. On his way back to Hanzo’s shop, Tetsukai saw a man being attacked by three figures in black dress. They were dragging the man down an alley and Tetsukai feared the worst. Without stopping to think, he rushed to the man’s aide. Picking up the man’s katana from the ground as he turned the corner he rushed the closest attacker. At the instance he set to attack, the sword came alive in his hands. A quick strike felled the first attacker and caused the other two to turn their attention to him.
The first moved silently towards him as the second started up the wall to gain advantage. Tetsukai’s actions were guided as much by the sword as by his own thoughts. He dodged the leaping attack from the attacker on the wall and turned into the other attacker dispatching him with a well-placed strike to the chest. The last attacker fell when his shoulders and head become separated at the neck. Turning to the man that was being attacked he realized who it was, Matsudaira Ieyasu the head of the Gaden city guard and right hand of Daimyo Tanaka Yoshiro. Tetsukai quickly dropped to his knees, bowing and placing the sword on the ground in front of him.
Ieyasu who was picking himself up from the ground looked at the young man, studying him for a moment then saying “My young friend. You have done me a great service today. Please stand and retrieve your sword.”
Tetsukai slowly stood, picking up the Katana as he did. He was confused and the adrenaline was quickly draining from him. Slowly looking Ieyasu in the eyes Tetsukai saw that he was smiling. Handing Tetsukai the bamboo scabbard Ieyasu continued, “The sword has bounded with you. You belong to it and it belongs to you. For you see we do not choose the blade, but the blade chooses us. What is your name?”
“Hattori Tetsukai sir. Son and apprentice to Hattori Hanzo,” he replied as he slid the sword into its scabbard. Studying it for a moment he realized once the sword was sheathed it appeared to be a bamboo staff.
“Well my friend then you should recognize that blade, for it was forged by your father when he was a young man. It served my father faithfully and it has served me also by bringing you to me when my need was greatest. I am indebted to you for the service you have given me today. Come let us go and see your father so that he may know,” and with that Ieyasu lead them out of the alleyway.
There were so many questions that Tetsukai had. Who were the attackers? Why were they after Ieyasu? Why did this sword feel so different from every other sword he had ever wielded? Rather than ask them he walked quietly with Ieyasu as they finished the short trip to his father’s shop.
Hanzo looked up as they entered the shop and with a surprised look said “Ieyasu, my friend what brings you here today?”
“Your son saved my life today. Several men attacked me and your son came to my aide. I felt I should come and tell you this in person,” Ieyasu replied.
Looking surprised Hanzo replied, “Please come and sit.”
As Ieyasu recounted the events from earlier in the day, the pride in Hanzo’s face was unmistakable. After about an hour, Ieyasu said “What if Tetsukai was to come and train with the city guard?”
“My son, this choice is yours. What do you think?”
Tetsukai looked at his father and replied “I would like to, but I want to finish my apprenticeship.”
“Well, you have already learned as much as I can teach. This is a great opportunity, and I will always be here.”
“Well than Master Matsudaria, I accept your offer.”
“Very good,” Ieyasu replied. “Be at the City Watch Compound in the morning. Thank you Hanzo for your hospitality and to you Tetsukai, I look forward to seeing what you can become. I must now take my leave.”
h3.A New Beginning
For the next three years, Tetsukai studied with master Matsudaria. He learned the code of Bushido and the way of the sword. He still spent time with his father honing his skill as a craftsman. During this time he became friends with Ieyasu’s son, Okasa who was one month younger. They practiced with each other, pushed each other and made each other better. One month after Tetsukai’s 18th birthday, Tetsukai and Okasa were made Samurai by Daimyo Tanaka Yoshiro.
Okasa and Tetsukai were assigned to separate units where they both exceled. Okasa was the better tactician and Tetsukai was the better swordsman. While Okasa was talented and highly skilled, Tetsukai was truly gifted. After three years, they were both assigned to the unit commanded by Ieyasu. They were each put in charge of a small unit of men and spent much of their time protecting important people when they were out in the city. Tetsukai stayed at Hanzo’s and continued to work in the shop.
An Unknown Betrayal
The following year everything changed. It was a stormy night. The rain was pounding at the house, the lightning would turn night into day, and the thunder was deafening. Tetsukai had just returned from vacation and he was speaking with Ieyasu and Okasa when it happened. The arrow came from nowhere, but Tetsukai sensed at and placed himself in its path, the arrow striking his left shoulder. He immediately felt the poison. He was dazed for a moment as his vision clouded and his left arm started going numb.
Okasa reacted instantly, the flash of lightning silhouetting the assassin for a brief second. Moving towards her, drawing his blade and striking in one fluid motion, but the assassin was skilled and Okasa was over matched. His sword struck only air, while a strike to his chest left him mortally wounded on the floor.
Ieyasu was only a step behind. The arrow found its mark, catching him in the heart as he closed. He fell to the ground dead, a combination of the wound and the poison. Okasa took his final breath as he watched his father die.
Tetsukai shook off the effects of the poison. Drawing his sword, he saw her step from the shadow. Dressed in black, a wicked blade in one hand, and pointing a hand crossbow straight at him. He sensed the arrow leaving the crossbow as much as he saw it, turning at the last second so the arrow missed by inches. Her blade caught him in the left shoulder as the distraction of the arrow caused him to miss her leaping at him. He felt the poison again, but this time he was ready for the effect. He blocked her second strike and caught her in the face with hilt of his katana. She staggered back pulling the mask from her head; her long blonde hair spilling out. He was struck for a second just how stunning she was, except for the broken nose.
Wiping the blood from her face, he could see the rage in her eyes. He had just made this personal. She came at him again. He missed the dagger until its ebony blade impaled itself in his thigh and more poison coursed into his body. Anticipating her strike to his torso was a mistake. Though he landed a solid strike to her shoulder, his face exploded in pain as her blade sliced him, blood spilling into one eye. The cumulative effect of the poison began to take its toll. She pressed her attack sweeping his legs, slamming him to the ground.
Standing over him, Tetsukai was again taken with her beauty and her sweet voice. If today was the day he was to die, at least it would be at the hands of one such as her. Looking down at him she said “I am going to make you pay for breaking my nose. Your death will not come quickly or quietly,” punctuating her statement with another strike to the face.
He tried to stand, but as he started to get to his feet, he heard his left knee shatter as her foot smashed it causing him to fall back to the ground. Her next strike he blocked with his katana, but that left him open for her to drive her fist into his face breaking his nose. Through his blurry and doubled vision, he saw her take a something from her back. He felt the slight prick as the needle slide into his arm.
As fire exploded through his body he heard, “This will keep you warm until you die.” Whatever she injected burned every inch of his body searing his very soul. Crying out from the pain caused her to smile as planed her attack. He perceived more than felt the next several blows from her blade. After what seemed like hours, he finally passed out only to have the fire bring him back around. Looking down at him Liv decided she was done. Putting the mask on she disappeared into the shadows leaving him to his inevitable death.
Walking out the door, she glanced over her shoulder. Seeing Tetsukai writhing in pain on the floor, moments from his death knowing his final tormented thoughts would be of her made her smile. Walking down the stairs to the courtyard, the rain refreshing her, she saw her client. Liv walked up to Tanaka saying, “It is done. All three are dead.”
He responded by tossing her a bag and turning to walk away. “You should leave now. The bodies will be discovered soon. Tell your masters that I am pleased with your work, and if I have need I will call on them again.”
Turning toward the shadow, something bothered Liv. Something was not quite right. Now the rain beating down on her only added to her unease. The spirit of the last man had been incredible strong. Not only did he survive the first dose of poison, but also he survived several more. As she was about to turn back to house, she heard voices and footsteps and quickly slipped into the shadows. Her tracks covered by the rain as she left.
Fate Has a Plan
As he clung to his last breath, Tetsukai felt peace flow through out his body. He thought he heard “I believe I can save him,” coming from the heavens, but he thought it was just the poison giving him that last false hope before finishing him. Kereii, said a prayer softly to her self as she tried to stabilize the man that lay on the ground before her. Between his wounds and the poison flowing through is body he should already be dead.
Only his lack of strength kept him from striking out at the soft hand that touched his arm. Opening his eyes slowly, expecting to see the assassin’s taunting expression staring back at him he was surprise by Kereii’s face. “Careful,” she said placing a cool towel on his forehead. “You have been unconscious for a month. It was only last week that the last of the poison was purged and I could start healing your wounds.”
Processing this slowly, Tetsukai could not believe what she was saying. Everything he had seen and felt, the taunting of that demon that attacked him had all been a nightmare after she left him for dead. Seeing Kereii reach for his face, he gently grabbed her hands.
“What are you doing? I need to heal your face or the wounds will leave a scar, “ she said with great concern.
“That is alright. I want the scar to stay. A reminder of my failure and the loss of my friend and my master,” he said letting go of her hands and he turned to go back to sleep.
She looked back at Hanzo who just shrugged “If that is his wish.” She left him to his sleep. Unable to fall asleep, Tetsukai lay awake listening to their conversation. In the other room Kereii said to Hanzo, “I do not understand. The scar will be a burden. He cannot find peace with that reminding him.”
Hanzo replied, “You are very wise Kereii. He is lucky to have you by his side, but you are not wise in Bushido. For him the way to peace is to carry the burden and then lay it to rest when he has found who is responsible.”
“But revenge is wrong. It will never bring you peace,” she replied.
“True, vengeance is wrong, but when one is bound by honor the failure must be corrected. For the warrior it is not a matter of vengeance, but atonement. For that they will carry the burden until they can atone. That is the difference. The act may be the same, but the motivation and reason are different, and that is where the warrior will find peace.”
“I don’t think that I will understand, but I can’t lose him after just finding him,” she almost whispered.
“I understand, but his path forward will be difficult for you. He will have to go places that will trouble you. You must prepare yourself if you wish to accompany him.”
“Thank you Master Hattori. You have given me much to consider. I must return to the temple. I will be back tomorrow to check on him.”
As Tetsukai lay awake thinking, hearing pieces of Hanzo and Kereii’s conversation he could not believe it. Did he truly have a sister? Hanzo was correct in his assessment of what Tetsukai would do. He wondered who the woman was that attacked him. He had never seen fighting like that before. She used stealth like the ninja, but the way she moved, attacked everything about her was different. He knew that part of his quest would be to improve his ability. While he had mastered the way of the sword, he now needed to master the way of fighting.
If at first…
Tetsukai was finally feeling stronger. He had started working with Hanzo in the shop and started training again as well. The conversation he had with Kereii several nights ago had answered many of his questions. He agreed that he must get stronger before he set off after the assassin. He was not sure if Kereii should come along with him, not where this quest was going to take him.
One night as he was preparing for bed he felt something was not right. Turning to his side quickly as a flash of metal went by missing him and embedding itself in the wall. Turning he saw the figure move towards him. This was an opponent he had fought before. Grabbing his sword, he moved away from him in a circle. The ninja followed his lead and tried to close the distance. Tetsukai was ready for him and ninja was dead before he hit the ground.
Kereii came waking into his room to say good night when she saw the man lying on the floor. “What happened,” she cried?
“He is a ninja. An assassin sent to kill me. Whoever is behind this knows I am alive.” Realizing that Hanzo may be in trouble he moves past Kereii towards the back of the house where Hanzo sleeps. He found him slumped over the table, a knife in his back. Tetsukai is not sure what happened after that, but two additional ninja were dead when Kereii snapped him back to the moment. “We must leave tonight. I am in danger as long as I stay here. I am a danger to anyone that knows me as long as I stay here. I am afraid that you have become caught up in this,” he said to Kereii.
“I was already planning to go with you. I need to return to the temple to collect some things,” she told him.
“I will go with you. You will not be safe on your own,” he said gathering a bag and heading for the door. That night they left Gaden before word of the ninjas failure could reach their masters and more were sent.
The First Step
Kereii and Tetsukai left that night before any realized the failure of the plan. Yoshiro not wanting to admit that Tetsukai was still alive had the incident at Hanzo’s shop declared a robbery gone badly. Worried that Tetsukai would return to seek revenge for Ieyasu’s death, Yoshiro has dedicated resources to tracking him down.
After leaving Gaden, Tetsukai and Kereii made their way to the north of Sollie. From there they traveled around Alyeria. Following information on Liv, they do not stay any one place for to long. Using his skills Tetsukai can usually find work-repairing things for people that do not have access to skilled craftsmen. This provides for their basic needs and Kereii often receives food and other gifts from those grateful for her healing.
During their travels they have meet many people, but a few have remained friends. One of the people they met is Charles de Chevalet. They were in Gulden when their paths crossed. Charles, going by Andar at that time was chasing down a gang of thieves that had recently robbed a merchant of an important item. Working with him they were able to capture the thieves and return the merchants property. They traveled for several months before Charles was called home. During this time Tetsukai learned from Charles to be more fluid in combat. Not to rely on the forms, but to adapt them to the situation. Tetsukai also learned from him the importance of speed and precision not just power.
Another notable person was Ulrich, a man from one of the northern tribes. They meet on the road when a dust storm suddenly appeared. They sheltered together. After the storm passed they found that they were heading in the same direction. During their travels Ulrich, Tetsukai and Kereii were responsible for saving a traveling caravan that was under attack by raiders and stopping slavers. Ulrich reinforced in Tetsukai the importance of ranged combat and how to combine his strength in melee with the flexibility that range can provide. Helping Ulrich complete his quest to return an item that his tribe had lost, Kereii and Tetsukai left Ulrich after he returned home.
Since then they have traveled far, but a letter several months ago from Charles has brought them back to Gulden. It appears that Charles had a run in with Liv and had gotten a letter to Tetsukai detailing the events. Arriving at the city they learned that Liv had only recently left and are trying to pick up her trail.